Great Northern Iron: James J. Hill's 109-Year Mining Trust
The 348-page volume contains original documents, photographs, maps and detailed tables. Dramatic 36-inch fold out maps show the entire Northern Minnesota mining region from both a birds-eye view and its cross-section.
- Author: James A. Stolpestad
- Publisher: Ramsey County Historical Society (2020)
- Hardcover, 348 pages
St. Paul author, lawyer, and real estate developer Stolpestad was given exclusive access to Great Northern’s archives and to its former senior managers to reveal for the first time a story hidden from public view for a century: that of Great Northern Iron Ore Properties, a trust formed in 1906 by James J. Hill and his son Louis W. Hill to acquire, manage, and lease 67,000 acres on the 100-mile long Mesabi Range. To get around legal restrictions, the trust leased the land to the iron and steel companies that did the mining. Investors — all members or friends of the Hill family — received their interests free because they owned stock in the Great Northern Railway (known today as BNSF). The encyclopedic and readable tome features original documents, photos, maps, and detailed tables, as well as dramatic 36-inch foldout maps that show the entire northern Minnesota mining region from both a bird’s-eye view and its cross section.